Maldives President discusses COVID-19 situation with UN Secretary-General

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has discussed the ongoing situation regarding the spread of the global pandemic over the telephone with the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres

Apr 17, 2020
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Male: President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has discussed the ongoing situation regarding the spread of the global pandemic over the telephone with the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

The President's Office on Thursday said the president commended the Secretary-General for his leadership during this ongoing global crisis, and provided an outline of the measures the Maldives has implemented at the national level to contain the virus.

The President also discussed areas in which the UN could be of assistance to the Maldives and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), detailing the challenges faced during the immediate health response phase, the President's Office said.

The President also briefed the Secretary-General on early interventions the Maldives’ Government undertook in response to the reporting of the first positive case on March 7th which contributed to successfully preventing community spread for over a month.

The President apprised the Secretary-General that this situation has changed with Wednesday’s identification of three positive cases in the Greater Male Area, with Male’ city currently under lockdown.

He emphasised that the Government’s priority remains to curb the spread, said the President's Office.

Welcoming the UN’s recent establishment of the ‘Response and Recovery Fund’ to aid low and middle-income economies that have been heavily impacted by the virus’ spread, the President requested the UN’s assistance towards the Maldives. He also highlighted that SIDS such as the Maldives are predominantly dependent on international tourism and trade, and are therefore disproportionately impacted by the measures that have to be imposed to effectively contain COVID-19.

In light of this, he welcomed the Secretary-General’s initiatives to restructure debt repayment windows, and to forgive debts, for countries with vulnerable economies, the President's Office said.